If you have been hurt in a car accident, your first concern might be determining who caused it. Determining fault is a complex and difficult-to-understand process that goes well beyond just blaming another driver. Many variables can influence whether someone is truly at fault, and in some cases, more than one party may be to blame for an accident.

If you are considering seeking compensation, it’s wise to gain an understanding of how fault is calculated and what can cause someone to be found responsible. While you should always consult an attorney before making your decision, this information can help you determine what your next step should be.


What Actions Are Considered “Negligent?”

The first step in determining fault is investigating what negligent actions (or inactions) took place leading up to, within, and after the accident. You should be aware that not every situation involves fault. For example, a slippery road that induces a collision may be considered a true accident as neither driver can control weather. As long as they both engaged in safe driving and preventative measures, neither would be at fault.

However, if one of the drivers was using summer tires in winter, he or she could technically be at fault for not taking proper winter driving precautions. Other common issues of negligence include the following:

  • Drunk driving
  • Failing to yield
  • Making an illegal turn
  • Passing on a solid line

Speeding, driving without a license, failing to follow road signs, and road rage can also cause accidents.  Essentially, if another driver engaged in any behavior that contributes to “unsafe driving,” he or she could very well be liable for any damages.


What Is Comparative Negligence?

In some wrecks, things aren’t so straightforward. Idaho state law does make allowances for special situations where both parties may be partially responsible for the accident, often referred to as comparative negligence. If you aren’t sure who caused the crash or whether you could be partially to blame, it is imperative to take comparative negligence into consideration.

For example, if a driver runs a red light and another driver is hit from the side by a speeding drunk driver. The courts will determine exactly what percentage of fault each party is responsible for. This percentage of fault will then be used to reduce your financial award by the same percentage. If you are awarded $100,000 but are 10 percent at fault, you’ll only receive $90,000 in the end.


Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Determining fault in a car accident is complex. Yet, it is one of the most important elements in calculating financial compensation. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to figure out who caused your accident alone. Make sure you have an experienced legal team on your side to help.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in the Boise area, call Craig Swapp & Associates toll-free at 1-800-404-9000 or complete the form below for a free initial consultation.